Township of Muskoka Lakes Municipal Office

Former Port Carling Schoolhouse Heritage Designation

modern day school photo

Early in 2009 the Township of Muskoka Lakes designated the former Port Carling Schoolhouse as a heritage property under the Ontario Heritage Act.  Research by a Heritage Consultant showed this property should be designated on the basis of its historical, associative, contextual, and design values.  In brief, our reasons for designation are as follows:
The structure, built in 1906, consists of brick construction, which reflects the optimism and civic pride of the period following the formal creation of the village of Port Carling in 1896.  The school was a prominent institution and it played a central role as young residents were educated in their community between 1906 and 1966.

The property also holds associative value as Ontario’s 27th Lieutenant-Governor, James K. Bartleman, was a student at the school.  During his term from 2002-2007, he championed various causes including literacy and education, frequently recognizing the formative influence of the Port Carling School.

The property also has design value due to adaptive re-use of the former school as municipal offices beginning in 1971.  The recent additions add design value as they embody respect for contemporary guiding principles of conservation of historic properties.  Respect for original location, materials, fabric and legibility have been maintained.

The property also has contextual value as it remains a landmark in the community, housing the Township’s Council Chambers and core municipal services in modernized interior facilities.

The specific features of the former Port Carling Schoolhouse deserving protection are:

  • Red brick exterior
  • Red brick envelope of 1906 and 1924 school structures with decorative brick detailing at original corners
  • Original hipped roofline on school structure with simply decorated gables
  • Stone foundations of the 1906 school
  • Stone windowsills where original to the 1906 school
  • Interior elements which reflect the building’s use as a school
  • White window trim, fascia, and gable ornament
  • Brick infill that retains legibility of the fire hall conversion to offices
  • Historical plaque in the Bailey Street facade
 historical school drawing


w3cP.O. Box 129, 1 Bailey St., Port Carling, Ontario, P0B 1J0  Phone:(705)765-3156  Fax:(705)765-6755
Municipal Office hours: Monday to Friday 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays)